Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Snowboardable Architecture


Got a bit of spare time on your hands now it’s the off-season? Why not while away the time constructing one of these - The top 10 architectural designs you can snowboard and ski on…
Amagerforbraeding - an anagram of Angrier Foam Badger
Created by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) this mouthful is a design for a waste treatment plant on the edge of Copenhagen, Denmark and it includes a year-round ski slope.  
The project described in architecturese:
“We want to do more than just create a beautiful skin around the factory. We want to add functionality! The ambition of creating added value in terms of added functionality does not stand in contrast to the ambition to create beauty. It does not have to be either/or it can be both!”
“Instead of considering Amagerforbraending as an isolated object, we mobilize the architecture and intensify the relationship between building and city expanding the existing activities in the area by turning the roof of the new Amagerforbraending into a ski slope for the citizens of Copenhagen.”
Everyone snowboards in bikinis in Denmark
Or do they? Did you spot these girls snowboarding uphill? Never has there ever been a more interested crowd of spectators at a snowboarding event.
They plan to build 1,500m of pistes including a terrain park. The easiest run is around the edge of the roof and the most difficult run and the terrain park are down the middle.
The Amagerforbraeding piste map
And if that wasn't enough, it also blows smoke rings...

Another BIG project, it’s a design for 332 apartments in the Hafjell resort in Norway
“The corner of the building towards the new gondola lift is pressed towards the ground creating a slope that can be used by the hotel guests when heading for Hafjell Ski Resort in the morning. At the same time a connection is created from the terraces and the upper rooms of the hotel to the ski run.”
I'm hoping they add some barriers in the final design

Great idea, but did they have put in a fucking drag lift?
The last BIG designed project is a whole ski resort and another skiable hotel in Trysil, Norway.
“We have made a goal to create a ski resort that gives everyone the access to the piste directly from their apartment or hotel.”
If you are planning on building you own snowboard resort over the summer, BIG have handily provided the instructions

Designed by architect Michael Jantzen the North Slope Ski Hotel is a “conceptual design proposal (in search of a client) for an eco-friendly ninety five room luxury hotel.”
“Its signature statement is its shape, which incorporates a four hundred foot ski slope. Guests can take an elevator to the top of the hotel, and ski down the side of the structure into the surrounding landscape. They are able to also ski down the hotel’s built-in ski slope during the summer, since it is fitted with a special skiable surface that will not require snow.”
“Conceptually, the design for the North Slope Ski Hotel came from a symbolic image of a large snow covered mountain, on which a small grove of trees grow at its peak.”
From the air this is an incredibly sinister building. If you are a James Bond villain looking to build a skiable building, then this is the one we recommend.

French architect and snowboarder Francis Marchionini has been producing snowboardable house designs for the last few years. Here’s how he describes his work:
“I’m influenced by the animal kingdom that includes concepts such as the architecture of camouflage, raw materials, shell, skins, animal postures etc… Right now I work on a project that seek the primitive needs of human body.”   I think that means he’s looking for a date. 
S - A one bedroom house
“The snowhouse is a small mountain chalet dedicated to freestyle snowboarding. It takes the form of a kicker to allow snowboarders to ride in their garden. The roof of the living room is inclined and joins the ground to form the jump.”
XS - Sleeps 6
“Its shape allows the use of the roof and side walls for making jumps. One can just pack the snow fallen on the roof and choose the length of the jump. The 2 side walls, slightly inclined, can make two quarter-pipes.”

L - A two bedroom house/snowpark
“The snowhouse L is the first snowhouse ever designed. It’s a perfect combination between snowboarding and living. Here. Snowboard practice leads architecture. The roof is shaped to create jumps of various sizes.”
Clearing the driveway is a bitch.
“In the summer, the snowhouse is an animal lurking in the meadow, hidden in the greens shades of nature and in the winter, its wearing a white coat and disappears into the landscape of the mountain, creating a private snowpark.”
The Hill - A building with 43 apartments. 
“This project was born from a still unsatisfied quest: to find a perfect mountain dome that allows snowboarders to jump in a perfect parabola. In snowboarding, every second spent “in the air” to defy gravity is a real pleasure. The Hill is inspired by this rare configuration and proposes, with the scale of a building, a slope shaped like a dome.”
The Gap – Designed to be the headquarters of a snowboard company. The jump contains a bar/nightclub and the landing contains a showroom, offices, conference room and an apartment.
Francis Marchionini has apparently also invented the rocket powered snowboard.
“Two events influenced this work: Intercrew 2008 and The Gap Sessions 2008. The masses of snow used in both events for making the jump and landing were such that they were looking like buildings.”

This is Andrew Kao’s vision of a mid-mountain lodge that could be built on the northern side of Innsbruck, Austria. It includes a hotel/spa, shops and a gondola station.
The final bit of architecturese:
“The topographic possibilities seemed to be the obvious and dealing with the building as such would be the most useful. Analysis of activities and the slopes and surfaces of the topography that they occurred on gave a means to generate the surface geometry. The surface qualities begin to be able to curate the kinds of activities that can take place in and around the building. These surface morphologies resulted in three distinct articulations of the surface.”

There they are the 10 options. Which one would you want?

If you do manage to get one of these up and running over the summer, we’d be happy to help you test it out. Until then, because we're too lazy to make our own, we're going spend our summer trying to find out where this is...

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If you are looking for other off-season ideas why not take a look at Alternative Snowboarding Surfaces

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